- As Microsoft’s fiscal year closes this week, it is expected to achieve record revenues.
- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted a thank-you note to the troops on Wednesday.
- Some employees replied by railing against pay freezes and reduced bonuses.
Thursday is Microsoft’s last day of a fiscal year that has been momentous for the company. In January, Microsoft said it was laying off 10,000; then it paused most raises this year and said it would reduce bonus and stock awards; and the US government is currently suing to block Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Activision.
And yet, Microsoft is expected to report record-breaking revenue. The software giant is worth $2.5 trillion and its stock is near a record.
In light of all of this, CEO Satya Nadella took to Microsoft’s internal message boards on Wednesday to thank the troops, in a message viewed by Insider.
“As we approach the end of FY23, I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone working hard across the company for a strong close. The innovation and creativity you continue to show have made this a landmark year not just for Microsoft, but for our customers, partners, and communities around the world,” he wrote.
He then expressed his gratitude for the sense of “community” he feels and encouraged everyone to “ground ourselves in our mission and culture.” He closed by expressing optimism for the year ahead.
We now know, from internal documents published as part of the Activision trial published in news reports, that he’s not just hopeful. A year ago he shared plans to lead Microsoft to more than double its revenue to $500 billion by its 2030 fiscal year.
About 200,000 people saw that message and the vast majority posted a positive upvote reaction. Nearly 130 people wrote replies, with about half of those replies being positive. But a number of employees reacted to Nadella’s thank-you note with salty messages, according to internal posts seen by Insider.
One message from an employee, upvoted by over 250 people, admonished that a “good way to show gratitude is to unfreeze pay raises” and then pointed out that the senior leaders who made the pay decision were worth many millions.
Another message, also upvoted by over 100 people, wrote, “Here employees take pay cuts as our company and leadership make record profits. It’s not right, no other way to look at it.”
Still another wrote, “I wonder where the record profits come from? For myself, I don’t feel privileged at all for working here,” and then talked about working 14-16 hour days while facing stagnant wages and rising health care costs.
Microsoft declined comment but such speaking out at the boss for a classic year-end thank-you note is another sign of troubled morale inside of Microsoft. As we previously reported, a recent internal Microsoft poll showed that more Microsoft employees say they would leave if they got another comparable offer.
Are you a Microsoft employee or do you have insight to share? Contact reporter Ashley Stewart via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-425-344-8242) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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